BUSINESSES have rallied round to lend a hand in supporting the Pride of South Tyneside awards.
And their employees will be among the audience at Temple Park Centre on Sunday night, helping to honour the best of the borough.
The awards, now in their tenth year, see the Shields Gazette join forces with South Tyneside Council and the Customs House to celebrate bravery, achievement and the hard work of the people of South Tyneside.
Previous winners of the awards will also be in the audience.
Lined up to make an appearance are Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall and fellow X Factor champ Joe McElderry, who both scooped the Young Performer of the Year award in previous years.
Gazette editor and Pride judge John Szymanski said: “Preparations are going really well and excitement is mounting as we count down to the tenth Pride awards on Sunday night.
“It should be a glittering showcase of all that is best about the borough and with the line-up we have, I think it will be the best yet.”
The title sponsor this year is Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd, which provides the technology to provide homes and businesses with electricity from the UK’s power stations.
Based at Monkton Business Park, Hebburn, the company is the UK’s leading supplier of electricity transmission and distribution supply systems, services and consultancy to the electricity industry.
Service director Des Young said: “It gives me great pleasure, to once again, be given the opportunity to sponsor the 2012 Pride of South Tyneside Awards.
“This is the sixth year running that we have supported the awards and I continue to be amazed and inspired by the selfless acts and great contributions of the wonderful people within our borough.
“Siemens employ over 500 people in South Tyneside, so as a local employer I feel especially proud to be part of an event that recognises, honours and highlights the great people nominated for these awards.
“Siemens are delighted and privileged to support this year’s Pride of South Tyneside Awards and would like to wish everyone involved the very best of luck.”
The company is also sponsoring the Judges’ Special Award.
Ford, an award-winning manufacturer of aerospace and industrial components and assemblies, with bases in South Shields and Hebburn, are sponsoring the Achieving Excellence award.
A former judge of the Pride of South Tyneside Awards and chairman of both Ford businesses, Geoff Ford MBE, said: “I am incredibly proud to be part of this event. It is very important to recognise and celebrate the talent that exists in South Tyneside and the outstanding work done by so many people.
“I always look forward to being involved and to hearing the inspirational stories of the borough’s previously unsung heroes.
“The nominees are a credit not only to themselves, but to their community. The awards evening is an exceptional event and I’m sure this year will be no different.”
The Port of Tyne – a dynamic training hub with five business areas, including car terminals and cargo – is sponsoring the Young Performer(s) of the Year award.
Susan Wear, director of corporate affairs, said: “The Port of Tyne is really proud to be sponsoring the Pride Awards for the tenth year, celebrating remarkable achievements and outstanding talent.
“The Pride of South Tyneside is an innovative and exciting event, contributing to the local community spirit.”
BT South Tyneside is also offering its support, backing the Sporting Excellence award.
A spokesman said: “BT South Tyneside are proud to be part of the Pride Awards in its tenth year and to be recognising the unsung heroes of the borough.
“We are committed to the ongoing success of the borough and increasing our locally employed workforce.”
Also sponsoring an award is Northumbrian Water, which provides water to homes and businesses across the region and treats waste water.
Corporate responsibility team leader Jane Morland, said: “Northumbrian Water is proud to sponsor these awards and to give something back to the local community.
“The people that do work within their community are a huge part of it, and it’s important for us as a company to recognise and honour those people through these award.
“Northumbrian Water does a lot of work in the community through things like our volunteering project, Just An Hour, which we’ve been running now for 10 years.
“In addition to this we do fundraising work and have raised money for charities like The Prince’s Trust. We know how important it is for communities to work together and these awards are brilliant because they recognise the people who go out of their way to help others.”
Clothing manufacturer Barbour – famed the world over for its wax jackets and country wear – is sponsoring the Carer of the Year award.
Harlow Printing Ltd, based in Maxwell Street, South Shields, is backing the Child of Courage award.
South Tyneside Homes, which manages homes on behalf of South Tyneside Council, has also got on board.
Chief executive Isobel Ridley, said: “Once again, South Tyneside Homes is delighted to be a sponsor of the Pride of South Tyneside Awards.
“As a company, our own vision is working together to make South Tyneside a place people are proud to call home, and to be a sponsor for these awards is very fitting because they celebrate those individuals and those groups whose innovations, talents and hard work have made them real heroes of the borough.”
Putting their name behind the Role Model of the Year award is Future Strategies Consulting Ltd, one of the North East’s leading adult learning training providers.
South Tyneside’s most famous fish and chip shop, Colmans, is putting its name on the Greener South Tyneside award.
Richard Ord, managing director of Colmans in Ocean Road, South Shields, said: “As a family-owned and operated business, Colmans have been proud to serve the people of South Tyneside for over 85 years. It gives us great pleasure to continue our sponsorship of the Pride of South Tyneside Awards.
“They showcase the very best of what the people of South Tyneside are capable of and achieve.
“Their hard work, integrity, kindness and commitment continue to inspire and encourage the people of this proud borough.”
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Jim Sewell, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Pride of South Tyneside awards in this, the event’s tenth anniversary year.
“The awards recognise the real heroes in our communities and the remarkable things they do.
“With the support of the Shields Gazette and the Customs House we can celebrate their achievements, acknowledge the fantastic contribution they make to South Tyneside and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”
The Pride of South Tyneside Awards ceremony is being held at Temple Park Centre in John Reid Road, South Shields, from 7pm on Sunday.
Tickets cost £10, call Alex Bayley-Kaye on 501 7339 or 501 7114.